A randomized, controlled trial of amitriptyline in the acute treatment of adolescent major depression

Christopher H. Kye, G. Scott Waterman, Neal D. Ryan, Boris Birmaher, Douglas E. Williamson, Satish Iyengar, Susan Dachille

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    79 Scopus citations


    Objective: To determine amitriptyline's (AMI) efficacy in the acute treatment of adolescent major depressive disorder (MDD). Method: Subjects aged 12 through 17 years meeting Research Diagnostic Criteria for MDD, diagnosed with the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (K-SADS), participated in a 2-week placebo-washout followed by an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel-design, placebo- controlled trial of AMI, 5 mg/kg per day. The K-SADS nine-item scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and the Clinical Global Impressions rating scale were used as outcome measures. Results: Thirty-one subjects were randomized (18 AMI, 13 placebo). Twenty-two subjects were study completers (12 AMI, 10 placebo). AMI's efficacy was suggested by the Clinical Global Impressions but not the K-SADS-derived data. Perhaps the primary limitation of the current study is its small sample size. Conclusion: No definitive recommendation can be made regarding the efficacy of tricylic antidepressants in the treatment of adolescent MDD.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1139-1144
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Sep 1996


    • adolescent
    • major depression
    • treatment
    • tricyclic antidepressant

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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